Hey I’m Ted.

I’m 17 and I’ve just finished my first year of sixth form. I guess ichthyosis differs, I’ve heard about and met people with much more severe cases than myself. Some doctors have called my condition Lamellar and some called it CIE. I’ve got dry skin all over my body and have to put cream everywhere everyday. There’s other stuff I have to do as well, like scrubbing in the bath and picking the flakes off my scalp and all that. But to be honest it’s not that bad. I deal with it and just get on with my life. When I was born the doctors were really shocked and took me away and even told my parents not to get attached because I might die. Eventually they realised I just had a skin condition, after all I was bright red from head to toe with very flaky skin.

As I started growing up my parents worried about me coping with school. I struggled with heat and would get a lot hotter than everyone else and go completely bright red in the face. They also worried about me making friends and stuff or even being bullied. I was fine though. Being a little kid, I couldn’t have cared less how flaky or red I looked. I started school and I suppose I was just accepted by everyone else. I never got any grief because I just grew up with a bunch of children that knew me from their first day at school. I had lots of friends and wasn’t really bothered by anything. I went on school trips and had swimming lessons and all that stuff without any problems. Starting secondary school was fine. I made lots of friends and I didn’t let my skin get in the way of anything. I still did normal stuff. I skateboard, play football, go on holiday to Greece. Most of the time I forget about my condition. I’ve never really been bullied. A kid made fun of me a couple of times in year nine but I had loads of friends supporting me and had nothing to worry about at all.

I use a cream called Eucerin®. I get a prescription every few weeks and it’s all I want. It makes me comfortable and look ok. I’ve been offered retinoids and different creams but I generally just turn them down. I’m happy. The cream I get on prescription is fine; anything else is just unnecessary hassle. I’m not bothered about stuff that might help make me look better. I know some people have it worse than me and might benefit from different creams but I’m fine. Some people may have a hard time with ichthyosis.

I suppose this article is mainly for parents letting them know it’s not always a problem. If anyone has a baby with a skin condition, don’t assume they’ll get a lot of grief. I’m still pretty normal. I hope to finish sixth form and then head off to University. After that I want to go travelling for a year. So don’t worry. Honestly my mum worries about my skin more than I do!